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Uniform-burning matrix burner

United States Patent

February 6, 2001
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Visit the NREL Technology Transfer Website
Computer simulation was used in the development of an inward-burning, radial matrix gas burner and heat pipe heat exchanger. The burner and exchanger can be used to heat a Stirling engine on cloudy days when a solar dish, the normal source of heat, cannot be used. Geometrical requirements of the application forced the use of the inward burning approach, which presents difficulty in achieving a good flow distribution and air/fuel mixing. The present invention solved the problem by providing a plenum with just the right properties, which include good flow distribution and good air/fuel mixing with minimum residence time. CFD simulations were also used to help design the primary heat exchanger needed for this application which includes a plurality of pins emanating from the heat pipe. The system uses multiple inlet ports, an extended distance from the fuel inlet to the burner matrix, flow divider vanes, and a ring-shaped, porous grid to obtain a high-temperature uniform-heat radial burner. Ideal applications include dish/Stirling engines, steam reforming of hydrocarbons, glass working, and any process requiring high temperature heating of the outside surface of a cylindrical surface.
Bohn; Mark S. (Golden, CO), Anselmo; Mark (Arvada, CO)
Midwest Research Institute (Kansas City, MO)
09/ 248,065
February 10, 1999
The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC36-98GO-10337 between the United States Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a division of Midwest Research Institute.